U.N. Slaps Unprecedented Sanctions on Six Migrant Traffickers in Libya

For the first time ever, the United Nations’ Security Council has issued sanctions against smugglers—specifically, six high-profile traffickers in Libya “who took advantage of the insecurity in Libya to move hundreds of thousands of migrants by sea to Europe,” The Telegraph reports. The sanctions range from a global travel ban to a freezing of assets. The accused smugglers include Abd al Rahman al-Milad, a “regional Libyan coast guard leader,” and Mus'ab Abu-Qarin, who allegedly “[organized] journeys over sea for 45,000 people in 2015 alone,” the Telegraph reports. Last December, the newspaper notes, the African Union reported that between 400,000 and 700,000 migrants were allegedly held across Libya, which has become a hotbed for migration and smuggling since the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the sanctions “send a strong message that the international community is united in seeking accountability for perpetrators of human trafficking and smuggling.”